It’s been about a year since I started my decluttering rampage, so it’s time to do an update.
To bring you up to speed, I started my declutter with the “30 bags in 30 days challenge” started by Sophia, from My Great Challenge. It was awesome! I was in the final stages of that, when I discovered the Konmari Method, and was convinced to start all over again.
Marie Kondo promised in her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” that if you follow her methods and make tidying up a once in a lifetime special event, there would be no rebounding.
The main principle of the Konmari Method is to only keep items that you truly treasure, the items that Spark Joy. Instead of decluttering room by room, you do it by category such as clothes first, than books, etc.. The order is extremely important because of the psychological effects. You determine whether or not an item Sparks Joy by picking it up, and touching it. It’s a pretty quick process. I knew instantly if it was an item I wanted to keep or discard. If I was unsure about a particular item, the fact that I had to ask myself, was an answer in itself.
Now that you’ve decided what Sparks Joy, you need to discard the rest. The goal is to surround yourself with only items that you truly love.
I got rid of bags and bags of things that didn’t spark joy. Sometimes it was tough. Real tough. I threw away things that were gifted to me, things I had just purchased and things I was holding onto out of some sort of (made up in my head) obligation.
Now that it’s a year later… Did it work? Was it worth it? Have I rebounded?
Yes, it worked! Yes, it was worth it! No, I haven’t rebounded! As a matter of fact, I’ve only continued to declutter more. It has completely changed my life. My rehabilitation as a clutterbug has been remarkable. I don’t miss a single thing that I got rid of. Nothing. I’m actually a little surprised about that myself, considering the sheer volume I gave up.
Now that I’ve decluttered, I spend only a fraction of the time cleaning that I used to. That’s an understatement. Even when my house is at its messiest, I can clean it up in the blink of an eye. Everything has a place to go, a permanent home. I don’t have to shove this here, or stuff that there. I have a lot more time for deep cleaning. Actually, I think I’ve become too obsessive about it. I need to let go and say, this is good enough. Can you believe it? It’s mind blowing.
I never have to search for anything. I can now go into my closets and drawers, and find what I’m looking for. The joy is palpable. The only problem I have is picking up after Marcos and Brendan. For as much as I preach, beg, and/or ask politely… The boys just don’t seem to grasp the concept as much as I’d like them to. They sometimes don’t put things away where they belong. Or they don’t put things away at all. But that’s OK. Taking care of them and the home is my job. I’m not complaining, just trying to give an honest depiction.
This is my “decorating closet.” Believe it or not, the picture on the top is after decluttering. Below, is a picture of my closet after implementing the Konmari Method. Can you see the difference? I still have a lot of stuff, I’ll never be a minimalist.
Right after I finished “tidying”, as Marie Kondo calls it, I didn’t even want to think about going shopping. The thought repulsed me. I have to admit, that my feelings on this have eased a little. I still like to go shopping, I just think before I buy something. “What will I do with this?” “Where will I put it?” “Do I need it?” “Do I love it enough to get rid of something else?” “Is it worth the hassle?”
This whole process has made me realize that we need to get out of this townhouse, ASAP. Even though my home is cleaner, and decluttered… I realize that I’m just not happy at all living here. It’s a dark, windowless cave, and it’s killing my spirit. I have a lot of nice things, but you just can’t put lipstick on a pig. Living here doesn’t suit my lifestyle or my lifestyle goals. My husband has recently gone into business for himself, and with this new opportunity, I’m finally seeing a way out. We’re in the process of filling out the paperwork for a financial advisor. Hopefully we’ll get the guidance we need, to show us the way out.
Other changes… 2016 was a tough year for me. I really struggled. Between the hysterectomy, the emotions that arose from the declutter, my husband’s career change, Anneke (that’s a blog post for another day), other family situations and even what was going on the world… I fell apart. I gained about 70 lbs and lost myself. But… I’m back on track with my fitness and weight loss goals, and I’ve been to the doctor to get help with all the emotional issues. I don’t want to dwell or look back. Even though the declutter was tough. It was necessary. My life is so much easier now, and I’m able to concentrate on what’s important. I don’t know how I could get on with my life, with all that “crap” around.
I’ve seen a lot of posts floating around that bash, or discredit the Konmari Method. Most are written by professional organizers. Hmmm??? That should tell you something right there. I could pretty much take each of their points and knock them down one by one, but again, that’s yet another blog post.
Many people have the misconception that the Konmari Method is only for those who want to become minimalists. That is absolutely, completely false. I am not now, and will never be a minimalist.
I see a gazillion comments on how “stupid” or “ridiculous” it is that Marie Kondo wants us to talk to our items and “thank them” before discarding them. I for one, and I know I’m not alone, get very attached to my belongings and feel guilty for throwing them away, or feel like somehow I’m killing them to do so. So is it really stupid to thank them, or is it playing into the psyche to bid them adieu this way? If this is the reason you’ve decided not to attempt the method, then you are the one being “ridiculous.” It’s just an excuse not to try it. If you want to skip this step, go ahead. Don’t let it turn you off to the rest of the process.
Others have claimed that the Konmari Method doesn’t work for the way Americans live. They claim that the Japanese people live in smaller spaces, and don’t have as many material items that we have, so it’s not sustainable. Baloney!!! Does it make it harder for us to go thru the process? Maybe. But it still works. For those with a lot of “stuff”, you might want to try a general declutter first, like I did. The 30 bags in 30 day challenge was a great start! That way, you know where everything is before you attempt the Konmari Method.
It is a lot of work. Your house will be a bigger disaster zone than ever while you go thru the process. If you are a hidey-hoarder like me, it won’t always be a joyful process as Marie Kondo describes in the book. But it will be worth it. I promise you. But you have to follow the process in the book, exactly in that order.
If you haven’t started your declutter yet, I wish you lots of luck! You can do it!